Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2019

Change in the testing environment

Following the successful test of WPS Office to stand in the shoes of Excel , the test environment needs to change. The virtual Linux machine Gimli is hosted on Windows host Legolas via Virtual Box.  Legolas now needs to share data with the Virtual Box, so as to reduce the workload on synchronisation (grive and google-drive-ocamlfuse), thus stepping closer to a "big-bang" migration from Windows to Linux (where parallel co-existence of the two platforms wouldn't happen). This is nearly a transitional phase.  It enables normal operations in Windows to the extent that apps in the Linux environment are either not available, or there is no time to find them to meet functional requirements. This change took place ~30 days ago, and so far, is proving very successful as a test environment.  The Linux Mint test environment is handling more and more functionality with each month, successfully manipulating "live" data with no prejudice  to the Windows environment or t

WPS Office Spreadsheet v Excel: at last, one that works!

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine. This stage relates to finding a spreadsheet package that handles existing data - over 10 years-worth of data - to migrate from Windows to Linux.  LibreOffice failed to meet the required functionality , resulting in the project being downgraded.  Time became available to test WPS Office, the result of which is that the project may continue. Environment & required functionality Excel-like functionality - in particular the use of linked workbook references in formulae such as SUMIF() - needs to be used on the following machines: The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop " Gandalf "; A Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 virtual machine " Gimli "; The Windows 10 laptop " Legolas ". The synchronisation agent is Google Drive in Windows 10, and either grive2 or google-drive-ocamlfuse in Linux Mint. This test focussed on spreadsheets, with n

OnlyOffice: keyboard inaccessible, so not useable, therefore not tested

I installed OnlyOffice I had intended to test it with my now-standard test suite of two linked workbooks. Unfortunately, in spite of a promising look, I quickly discovered that - with one exception - everything was navigable only by mouse. That makes it a child's toy.  Unfit for purpose!  No point in testing it further. I uninstalled it within 10 minutes of installing it.

SoftMaker's PlanMaker: cannot handle linked workbooks with SUMIF and Google Drive reckons the files are ZIP files.

I have tested PlanMaker with my now-standard test suite of two linked workbooks. PlanMaker looks and feels highly compatible with Excel.  It has comparable menu structures, a choice of Excel 2003-like or Excel 2007-like interfaces.  It feels tight and secure, i.e. no risk of data being lost. So it should have been an ideal candidate to solve the problems unsolved by LibreOffice and OpenOffice. Sadly, no.  It seems that PlanMaker's deployment of XLSX does not extend to linked workbooks in functions SUMIF and SUMIFS.  PlanMaker thus cannot pass this most basic of hygiene factors. Naturally, I put in a comment in PlanMaker's forum for PlanMaker Freeware in Sep2018 and received no useful replies. And now I receive spam from PlanMaker. One other thing that PlanMaker annoyingly does.  When it saves XLSX, it does something that makes Google Drive think it is a ZIP file.  Google Drive preview thus cannot open the file for preview ("Oops!  Something's gone wrong! 

gnumeric doesn't recognise linked workbooks at all

I have tested gnumeric with my now-standard test suite of two linked workbooks. I found that gnumeric doesn't even recognise the concept of linkable workbooks. gnumeric is fine for ad hoc , one-off calculations without standing data.  The lack of linking views to data, however, make gnumeric a poor choice for on-going financial measurement and reporting. gnumeric was uninstalled within 10 minutes of its installation!